National Park souvenir

Hiking in a lovely western national park this summer, I found this indigenous rhinestone ball. (It had a hook on it, which I cut off.) Breaking park rules, I removed this from its natural habitat, brought it home, and made a ring, using beads which reminded me of the pine forests that I hiked through.

Permanent finish galvanized beads failure

Less than two days of wear with this ring made of the permanent galvanized Tohos, and this is how the ring looks:

A detail of the damage:

I was very hard on this ring as I wanted to see what the beads will withstand: I lifted weights (not rubber-coated), showered, did dishes, and cleaned, including using Comet. This is sized to wear on my middle finger, and is tight enough to not rotate around my finger. I couldn’t get a good photograph, but one of the green matte beads also lost its finish on the hole side, where it apparently rubs against another bead — so not directly due to my abuse, but rubbing against its neighbors.

My take-away lesson is this:  these beads won’t withstand friction. I have heard from other beaders who bought earlier batches of these beads, and they tell me that theirs are more stable than this. I really like the colors, but this is unacceptable for use in any big project that I want to survive long-term. I’ll use them in little part-day projects that will receive easy wear, but that’s all. I wish I’d bought fewer of these beads.

Permanent finish galvanized beads

I’m hopeful they live up to the “permanent” part of their name! I bought a little of many colors of these galvanized beads from Toho. I made a sample for a ring, both to see how the matte and shiny finishes interplay, and to test the durability — I’m going to be sporting a pink and green ring for a while, most of the time.

Here it is flat first. I don’t like the shiny beads next to shiny beads of a different color — maybe it would be better if there was a stronger value contrast between the pink and the green, but it just looks shiny. You don’t see the color as much. That doesn’t happen with the two matte colors next to each other; that works well. I also like the matte and shiny of the same color next to each other. These colors are rose (553) and yellow gold (559), though the yellow gold looks more chartreuse to me.

Here’s the finished ring. The colors are more true in this photograph than the flat band above.

Another blue ring

I didn’t cut up the old one, I have a few of these inexpensive blue lapis cabs! I haven’t submitted instructions for any article proposals for a while, and thought I’d give it a try with this ring. Practices have changed in the last couple of years; instructions need to be completed for the proposal itself. So, I needed to make another ring with standard beads to have correct bead counts. My first blue ring used blue French 13s, and I wanted to convert it to Delicas (the dichroic ring uses Delicas, but the cab itself isn’t a standard, even shape and size).

So, I browsed through my Delicas and 15s to find beads that would work with the cab. I had to raid a mix for the 15s, but I like my final choices. I’ve written the instructions, now I need to create a few sample diagrams to help the editors understand my words, and see if they’re interested in publishing this.